"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <email@example.com> writes:
> Anders Sandberg wrote:
> > More suggestions?
> Well, now that Algernon's Law 1.1 is out, I can join in.
> If an advanced civilization has published the neuroanatomical targets,
> neurohacking can be done with a small 1980s shop (or even earlier, but
> direct electrical current can produce chemical byproducts in the brain).
> If you're willing to take casualties, you can learn the targets on a
> pretty low budget. I don't know whether you'd want Specialists or
> people with Reengineered emotions in the campaign, but, realistically
> speaking, they'd be there on any Libertarian colony. Once there are a
> few high-profile successes with neurohacking, nobody is ever going to
> give it up.
Actually I have them, but not on Atlantis as it is currently written up. There was another colony, named Jerusalem. It was colonized by a coalition of fundamentalist christians who believed that the lack of Second Coming in 2035 was a sign to go somewhere else. They set up a colony, behaved overall as you might expect, and were eventually toppled in a coup by the second and third generation colonists who renamed the planet Dionysos and went in the other direction, aiming for hedonism instead. Anyway, after *that* got a bit stale, methods for mental design began to appear. Originally they were based on drugs, mysticism and psychological tricks, but the area became more and more of a science. Eventually, the psychodesigners could just about insert any personality, emotions, values or mental states in their clients. As you can guess, Dionysos is a rather "liquid" place in 2350, where the basis of identity is regarded as the experiences one has had rather than personality or values.
While of course drugs and neurohacking are completely legal just about anywhere on Atlantis they haven't advanced equally in that direction. There are definitely people with fun stuff in their brains, but research hasn't been that heavy for various reasons (mostly because large projects are trickier to fund and insure than small ones, putting an emphasis on small-scale applied science and technology). Other notable colonies in this respect are Arcadia, where Culture-like drug glands are fairly common and Unity, a religion/megacorporation/colony that broke away from the TerraNova colony to become a borganism.
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